Receiving and giving hugs both feel good. But hugs don’t just make you feel good they also boost your health. So embrace more hugs and start today! There’s a famous quote that says, we need “4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” A hug should be a simple action of your daily routine as it releases so many of the ‘feel good’ chemicals in our body and it has great benefits like to de-stress us and boost our wellbeing. There have been studies done that found, that for the children who grew up without touch they were more likely to develop personality disorders and cognitive and developmental delays. This shows us just how important touch can be even for how we develop.Touch is the language of compassion. It is something that we all need throughout our lives. Visually think of it like a battery that recharges us…it helps to reduce our stress and boost our immune systems and wellbeing. We all know the bad effects that stress can cause to our overall health so that’s why including hugging as a part of your daily routine is a great thing to do! Lowered stress means a more boosted immune system, so technically regular hugs can help us to reduce the severity of any bugs we might end up getting and also hopefully fewer colds and viruses. A hug releases Oxytocin, which is also known as the ‘love’ hormone. It helps us to bond and develop and strengthen trust in relationships. Oxytocin also reduces the levels of Cortisol (the stress hormone) which will help to lower anxiety levels too. The release of Oxytocin also is connected with feelings of content and better heart health. Not only does a hug release Oxytocin it also releases other ‘feel good’ hormones like Endorphins, Serotonin and Dopamine. This means it can really heal and support our mental health too by reducing depression and low mood. Hugging offers comfort from worries and fears also, so there are plenty of benefits from a hug.Interestingly, alot of our communication between people is actually nonverbal. Hugging shows a range of feelings from affection to support to appreciation. It’s a wonderful way to show someone that you love and care for them. There has been studies done that show in marriages where couples hug and cuddle alot the relationship has been found to last longer and the bond that hugging creates encourages monogamy. So that’s a positive action to do daily with your loved one.I’m a total ‘hugger’ at heart, I love to spread the love around so for me hugging daily would just come naturally. However, it might be a bit of a challenge to hug daily and show affection this way if your not used to it or not a ‘touchy feely’ type of person. So below I’ve included a couple of tips on how to embrace hugging if your in need of some more information. But go on open your arms to receive and give a hug and see how it makes you feel.
Embrace Hugging (Tips for if your not a naturally ‘touchy feely’ type of person)
- Start making a habit of giving friends or family a hug when you greet them. (Hopefully not coming across sexist) but it maybe easier for women to do this, as men might find this abit awkward or might not know if it’s OK to hug a female friend for example, but if it’s nonsexual and friendly it is most likely going to be welcomed with open arms.
- If noone is around hug a teddy bear or hold a hot water bottle or blanket for comfort. There has been benefits found even when hugging inanimate objects.
- Cuddle your pets. A great thing about owning or being around a pet is that most of them are very fond of a cuddle and a good stroke. This is one of the reasons why owning a pet is so good for you. Spend time with your little ‘fur baby’ so you both can share the benefits of a cuddle.
- Make an appointment with a touch therapist. Although this is technically not a hug, it is a form of touch and can be incredibly healing and beneficial.